Tre Kronor was a castle located in Stockholm, Sweden, on the site where Stockholm Palace is today. It is believed to have been a citadel that Birger Jarl built into a castle in the middle of the 13th century. The name Tre Kronor is believed to have given to the castle during the reign of King Magnus IV in the middle of the 14th century. Most of Swedens national library and royal archives were destroyed when the castle burned down in 1697, when King Gustav Vasa broke Sweden free from the Kalmar Union and made Sweden independent again, Tre Kronor Castle became his most important royal seat. The keep may have existed previous to the 16th century, but in a smaller form than on the pictures from the beginning. The tower was then about the half of the height in the end of the 16th century, the castle consisted of two parts, the main castle and the walled in gardens surrounding it with the high tower in the middle. On May 7,1697 a large fire broke out in Tre Kronor that completely demolished the majority of this now more-than-400-year-old castle, the fire was discovered by the castles keeper, Georg Stiernhoff. The fire marshal, Sven Lindberg, informed the staff that he could not get to the fire extinguishing equipment because the fire blocked his access to it. The royal family and court were forced to evacuate the castle, the servants attempted to save as much as possible of the royal possessions. The fire spread quickly to all parts of the castle, since the castle was made out of wood and copper, the hot copper plates set the roof on fire. As mentioned, due to the fire most of Swedens national library, shortly after the fire died out, the investigation into why it was not discovered before it was too late got underway. A royal court found three possible culprits, Sven Lindberg – the fire marshal for the castle – and Anders Andersson and Mattias Hansson, soldiers on fire watch for the night, reporting to Sven Lindberg. It is revealed that Anders Andersson was running an errand for the fire marshals wife, Mattias Hansson had left his post, going into the kitchen to get some food. Mattias claimed that the fire marshals wife had given permission to do so – a statement she denied, the royal court concluded that the fire marshal had used the soldier for his and his wifes private errands. It was also found that he had accepted bribes in exchange for hiring people into certain positions at the castle, in February,1698 the sentences were handed out. Sven Lindberg and Mattias Hanson were sentenced to death since they had neglected their duty. Anders Andersson was sentenced to run the gauntlet, the death sentences were both later commuted to running the gauntlet and six years of forced labour at Carlsten fortress. Sven Lindberg died while running the gauntlet, plans were made to rebuild a new castle on the old foundation
The castle in the 17th century, seen from the northeast.
Johan Fredrik Höckert's realistic and dramatic painting from 1866 of the Castle Fire "Slottsbranden ... ", showing young King Charles XII of Sweden with his grandmother and sisters escaping ahead of his recently deceased father's body and his crown jewels coming down the stairs behind them.